By Jonquil Newland, Weekend Today Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
The 285 foot steamboat moored on Chattanooga's riverfront, also known as the Delta Queen, will soon be on its way down the Tennessee River.
Its destination is unknown but Mayor Andy Berke has made it clear, it can't stay in the Scenic City and others agree.
"Honestly I just don't think it belongs there," says Ellen Hayes. She visits the downtown riverfront often. "It blocks the view of the beautiful Coolidge Park from the south shore of the river and it blocks us from seeing the river from the north shore."
However, many cannot denote the steamboat's rich history.
"It has a lot of significance and it means a lot to a lot of people from and historical stand point," says David Was.
Originally commissioned in 1927 the Delta Queen was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and was declared a National Historic landmark in 1989. It's logged more than two million miles throughout the nation's waterways.
Since 2009 it has served as a hotel on Chattanooga's riverfront, but those days are nearly over whether Chattanoogans like it or not.
"Ideally it would be nice if there could be some money that could be pumped into it to refurbish it," say Was.
The Delta Queen has seen several letters of intent to purchase the steamboat but an agreement was never made. It's not clear at this time what the owners plan to do at the end of the month.